Prophetic Language of Matthew 24 Explained

Why this document is critically important!

This is one of the most important keys to unlocking the meaning of Matthew 24 and the signs of the times prophecy.

Imagine being in a war veterans club which gathers together for various social things on Saturdays. Once a year, the veterans club hosted a special function where the old veterans brought their grandchildren into the club to teach the younger generation a little about the wars. It was called, "Grandfather-Grandchild Dinner and Dance Day". One year, as the event continued, one of the old veterans stood up and grabbed the microphone and said the phrase, "D-DAY", and paused for 10 seconds. The audience reacted to this simple phrase two very different ways. The teenage grandchildren immediately associated this phrase "D-DAY" with "Dinner and Dance Day", but they really didn't know for sure what it meant. While all the grandchildren looked and listened in genuine puzzlement as to what "D-DAY" meant, they were even more amazed at the reaction of all the old veterans. Some of them began to cry, some of them quiver, some of them sighed, some of them just hung their head in their hands. The teenage grandchildren just could not understand why a simple phrase like "D-DAY" would make their grandfathers react this way. What did "D-DAY" mean, they wondered?

This exactly illustrates why this document is so important. When most people read the prophetic language of Matthew 24, like "coming on the clouds of heaven & the sun will be darkened, moon turned to blood" they incorrectly associate such phrases with the second coming of Christ. If we could transport back in time to be in the audience of Jesus and His disciples when he actually made these statements, we would be the ones with the puzzlement like the teenage grandchildren and the Jews of that time, would be like the old war veterans. When Jesus said of Jerusalem, "coming on the clouds of heaven & the sun will be darkened, moon turned to blood" again the audience would react in very different ways. The Jews of that time, clearly understood and was familiar with this kind of language. They read it many times in the Old Testament. To them it was nothing new. They understood such language was used many times in the past whenever God would overthrow and destroy a single nation at a specific time. They were familiar with several of these prophecies and their historical fulfillments long before they were born!

Before you hastily conclude that such language like, "coming on the clouds of heaven & the sun will be darkened, moon turned to blood" is speaking of the second coming, look closely at the context in which is was used time and time again by the Old Testament prophets to predict that God was about to destroy a city or nation.


Prophetic language used


Isaiah 13:1,6-13

730 BC

-the day of the Lord is near

-hands fall limp, man's hearts melt, terror

-stars of heaven and constellations will not flash forth their light, sun

dark when it rises, moon not shed light, heavens shake, earth tremble


539 BC

Isaiah 19:1

730 BC

-Lord riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt

-the idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence


480 BC

Isaiah 34:4-5

730 BC

-all host of heaven (stars) will wear away

-sky rolled up like a scroll, all their hosts will wither


before 400BC

Ezekiel 30:3-4

590 BC

-The day of the Lord is near

-It will be a day of clouds,


480 BC

Ezekiel 32:7-8

590 BC

-I will extinguish Egypt

-heavens covered, stars darkened, cover sun with cloud, moon not give

light shining lights in the heavens will be dark, darkness on the land


480 BC

Amos 5:18-20

755 BC

-day of the lord

-it will be darkness and not light, gloom with no brightness in it


722 BC

Amos 8:9

755 BC

-sun go down at noon

-earth dark in broad daylight


722 BC

Zephaniah 1:7,


630 BC

-Near is the great day of the Lord, near and coming very quickly

-a day of wrath, trouble, distress, destruction, desolation, darkness,

gloom, clouds, thick darkness

-a day of trumpet and battle cry


586 BC

Jeremiah 4:14-16, 19,23-28



-sound of trumpet, alarm of war

-no light, heavens above dark

-Yet I will not execute a complete destruction

-a people is coming from the north, a great nation: Babylon


586 BC

Jeremiah 46:2-12

-I will cover the earth

-For this is the day of the Lord


605 BC

Nahum 1:1-5

-The mountains quake

-the hills melt

-the earth is burned

-the world, and all that dwell therein.


612 BC

2 Samuel 22:6-17,21,25 Psalm 18

- David describes his deliverance from his enemies as if the world was destroyed. ?
Joel 2:28 + Ax 2:16

830 BC

-great and awesome day of the Lord

-blood, fire, columns of smoke, sun into darkness, moon into blood,

All Jews

30 AD

Matthew 24:29-30

30 AD

-sign of son coming on clouds

-sun darkened, moon turned to blood, stars fall from sky, roaring of sea

& waves, men fainting from fear, heavens shaken


70 AD

Matthew 26:64

30 AD

-Son of man sitting at right hand of power, coming on clouds of heaven Jerusalem

70 AD

2 Peter 3:10-13


-Day of Lord will come

-Heavens will pass away with roar, elements destroyed with intense

heat, earth and works burnt up


70 AD

Revelation 1:7

68-69 AD

-Christ is coming with clouds Jerusalem

70 AD

Acts 1:9-11

30 AD

-Christ will return in same way he left...with clouds Jerusalem

70 AD

Parallel Passages

Historical Destruction's of Jerusalem

1st destruction

By Babylon in 585 BC

2nd Destruction

By Rome in 70AD

Zephaniah 1
Jeremiah 4
Zechariah 14
Matthew 24
V15 A day of darkness, gloom & clouds 4:23,28 no light, heavens dark V6 in that day there will be no light, the luminaries will dwindle V29 Sun darkened, moon turned to blood, stars fall from sky
V7,14 Near is the great day of the Lord 6:1,22 a people is coming from the north, a great nation: Babylon V5 the Lord will come with holy ones V30 son of man coming on clouds

Romans came to destroy

V31 send forth angels

V16 A day of trumpet against fortified cities 4:19; 6:1 Sound of trumpet, alarm of war
V31 Great trumpet
V15 A day of wrath, trouble distress, destruction, desolation, 4:27; 5:10 Yet not a complete destruction V2 gather nations against Jerusalem to battle city captured, house plundered, women ravished Lk 21:20 Jerusalem surrounded by armies

Lk 19:41-44 enemies surround you, hem you in, level to ground

V2 half city exiled

half not cut off

Mt 24:40 One left, one taken
V5 you will flee by the valley of mountains Lk 21:21 flee to the mountains
Fulfillment: Babylon 586BC

2 Kings 25:1-12

Fulfillment: Rome 70AD

Josephus, "Now as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of fury...Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple." Wars, Book 7:1:1

Other prophetic language explained

A. Clouds

    Clouds: Indicate Divine Power: PS 104:3-4
    Presence: Exo.16:10; 19:9; 34:5, Lev.16:2, Num.11:25, Job 22:12, Psalm 68:32-35
    Salvation: Psalm 18:9-12
    Judgment: Isa.19:1, Psalm 104:1-3, Joel 2:1-2

B. Send Angels MT 24:31

  1. Angel means messenger
    • Hebrew: "malak": angel(s)-110x; messenger(s)-100x; ambassadors-2x; envoys-1x
    • Greek: "Aggellos": Angel(s)-89x; messenger(s)-7x
  2. Usage of angel in NT:
    • Created beings superior to man: Ax 23:8; Heb 1:7,14
    • John the baptist: Mt 11:10; Mk 1:2; Lk 7:27
    • Messengers of John the Baptist: Lk 7:24
    • Messengers of Christ: Lk 9:52
    • Jewish spies: Jas 2:25

C. Mt 24:31 Gathering the of elect from four winds:

  1. This is probably the great commission: Christians preaching gospel to whole world, "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" Mt 28:18

D. Trumpet: MT 24:31

  1. Trumpets Signaled Start Of Battle: Num 10:1-10
  2. Same Language Used In Zeph 1:16

Trumpet prophetic language

Jerusalem 586BC Zeph 1:16

Jerusalem 70AD Mt 24:31

A day of trumpet against fortified cities A great trumpet


So we can conclude that the language of Matthew 24 is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. It was 100% fulfilled prophecy! Such language is the way the prophets described, in prophetic language, the physical destruction of a specific nation. It has been applied to countless Old Testament nations that were destroyed. Matthew 24 is speaking of the coming of God in judgment upon Jerusalem in 70 AD.

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